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Prince Albert was an early adopter of portrait photography


Mr Charles Kean (1811-68) as King Richard II


Hand-coloured albumen print | 22.5 x 17.6 cm (image) | RCIN 2909984

Hand coloured photograph of actor Charles Kean as King Richard II in a recreation of Act 4 scene 2 of the homonymous play, Act as performed at the Princess's Theatre, Oxford Street in London. He wears a red tunic with black short cape and faces three-quarters left, holding a crown with both hands.

This Theatrical Album was compiled by Queen Victoria to record performances she had attended between 1852 and 1861. Among these was a production of Shakespeare’s 'Richard II', which she saw five times at the Princess’s Theatre in 1857 and noted in her blotter (Royal Archives reference VIC/MAIN/Z/115). These two photographs by Martin Laroche show Charles Kean in the title role. They were Christmas gifts to the Queen from Prince Albert in 1858.

This object was displayed at the Charles Dickens Reception at Buckingham Palace, 2012.
  • Creator(s)

    Martin Laroche (1814-86) (photographer)

    Martin Laroche (1814-86) (colourist)


    Charles John Kean (1811-68)
  • 22.5 x 17.6 cm (image)

  • Given as a Christmas gift to Queen Victoria from Prince Albert

  • Subject(s)
    • Science, Medicine and Technology
      • Industries, Crafts and Trades
        • Toys and Decorations
          • Theatrical costumes
    Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs